Environmental Design Admissions

What are the grade requirements to be admitted into ENVD?

Learn more about academic profiles for the different schools and colleges at CU Boulder on Admission's first-year selection website.

I have been admitted into A&S (or another school), how can I switch into ENVD?

Log into your CU Boulder application, click on the major change request form and request to change your major to ENVD. Admissions will then communicate if the major change is approved or denied (based on application materials and space in the ENVD program). 

You can also connect with your Admissions and/or your Admissions Advisor to receive more information. 

What grades and high school classes must I have to apply for ENVD?

 We do not require previous design experience or prerequisites. Please visit the Admission's first-year selection website, to view the averages of first-year student’s credentials that were admitted into ENVD in 2019.

About 100 first-year students are admitted every fall and having a design background from high school helps if you have lower than average test scores and GPA.

How can I visit and tour ENVD?

Although we cannot meet in person at this time, you can still join us for a video tour of our building and program. No registration needed! 

Watch Video Tour

Environmental Design Curriculum & Academics

What majors are offered from ENVD and what are the differences?

There are four majors offered through the B.EnvD degree.

  • Architecture: study the design and build of building structures
  • Environmental product design: study of the design and build of reproducible products
  • Landscape architecture: study of designing environments in urban, rural and agricultural contexts at all scales
  • Sustainable planning & urban design: formulations of policies guiding the development of neighborhoods, cities and regions. 

Learn more about our majors.

What classes will I take during my first semester?

We'll help you enroll in your first semester classes! You will take the following courses during your first semester:

  • 8-week environmental product design studio 
  • 8-week architecture studio 
  • Intro to design theory
  • Technology I
  • Research colloquium
  • Writing course

Each following semester, we'll assist you in enrolling in a studio, technology, general education and other design-related courses. 

View curriculum guides for each major.

How can the size of ENVD be compared to that of CU?

The incoming first-year class is between 110 to 120 students. Studio courses average 18 to 20 students per class, which provides students with direct access to ENVD faculty and advisors. The Program in Environmental Design is made up of about 650 students from first year students to seniors. 

What are the benefits of ENVD vs. an architecture-specific school or program?

Students in ENVD receive an interdisciplinary, hands-on education. Each student begins their education with a foundational, three-semester introduction to each major. After that foundation, you will continue courses in your declared major. 

Does CU Boulder or ENVD offer a bachelors in architecture?

Students in environmental design pursue a bachelor's in environmental design (B.EnvD) and can choose to major in one of four areas: architecture, environmental product design, landscape architecture or sustainable planning & urban design. 

What is the difference between ENVD architecture and architectural engineering?

Environmental design focuses more on the design aspect whereas architectural engineering focuses on structures and systems. 

Can I minor in ENVD?

Currently, we offer an environmental planning minor, which has no pre-requisites to apply. This minor is 18 credits and open to students interested in environmental planning. Learn more about our minor.

Can I double major and/or add minors and certificates while in ENVD?

Yes, you can choose to double major, and/or add minors and certificates onto your B.EnvD degree. Common minors are business, technology arts and media (TAM), engineering management, real estate, geography, media studies, and foreign language. 

Common certificates include lighting design, GIS and computational science and real estate. 

Common dual degrees include business, college of communications and information, engineering and other degrees offered through arts and sciences. 

We encourage students who are interested in the above options to meet with an academic advisor. 

Environmental Design Scholarships

What kind of ENVD scholarships are available?

Incoming students can apply for scholarships when they submit an application to CU Boulder.

  • Out-of-state
    • ENVD Excellence Scholarship ($3,000, renewable up to 4 years)- If a awarded the Presidential Scholarship from Admissions
    • ENVD Distinction Scholarship ($1,500, renewable up to 4 years)- If awarded the Chancellor's Scholarship from Admissions. 
  • In-state
    • ENVD Directors Scholarship ($1,000 renewable up to 4 years)- If awarded the Sewall Scholarship from Admissions
    • ENVD Faculty Scholarship ($2,000 one time)- If awarded the Hale Scholarship from Admissions
    • ENVD Program Scholarship ($1,000 one time)- If awarded the Baker Scholarship from Admissions

Returning ENVD students can apply for over $50,000 in scholarships each year. Scholarships and award criteria may include academic merit, financial need, contributions to the field of environmental design or other requirements.

Student Involvement

How can I get involved in ENVD during my first year?

Students in their first year at ENVD are automatically enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Program, a two-semester academic and social community program designed to engage and connect you with your cohort and upper-division students.

All students in this program are eligible for a $500 studio-based scholarship at the end of their second semester, as long as they attend 18 events throughout the year. 

What kind of student clubs and organizations are available at ENVD?

ENVD has seven student groups and organizations that are open to all ENVD students.

  • Environmental Design Student Government (EDSG)
    • This is the program's branch of the campus student government (CUSG) and acts as a liaison between ENVD students, faculty and administration. Holds events for the ENVD student population.

A community engagement and social activism group:

  • The Rural Project

Four groups associated with each of the ENVD majors

  • American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
  • American Planning Association Student Chapter (APAS)
  • Environmental Product Design Club (EPOD) 
  • Student Association of Landscape Architects (SALA)

An academic group, serving first-generation and underrepresented students

  • Designers Without Boundaries (DWB)

Career Development & Job Placement

How does ENVD prepare students for the design profession?
  • Out of the 120 credits required to graduate 90 of those credits are design-specific ENVD courses 
  • Most ENVD students complete two or more design-related internships before they graduate
  • There are various professional development opportunities including site visits, networking with design firms and business owners, as well as job fairs, graduate school fairs

Our in-house Professional Development Center is specific to ENVD students, providing you a range of career-developing opportunities. Connect with our center to help expand your connections, gain resume-building experience and find a job after graduation. 

How many students go to graduate school after ENVD?

On average, about 30 percent of graduating students enter a graduate program. 

How can I become a licensed designer?

Some quick facts to know as you consider a path to licensure and certification:

  • Schools do not grant licenses: it is up to the student to pursue design licensure and certification in addition to their B.EnvD degree

  • Licensure requirements for architecture and landscape architecture are defined on a state-by-state basis

  • In Colorado, the path to architecture licensure for B.EnvD students is typically the same amount of time as students pursuing an M. Arch degree

Learn more about the paths to licensure and certifications.

What is ENVD's job placement rate?

Last year, 80 percent of the students who interacted with the Professional Development Center were hired in ENVD fields within three months of graduation. 

As an undergrad, can I do a design internship?

Yes, on average ENVD students complete two or more internships before graduation.